J Martin Architect


An Architecture of Hillforts in Northumberland





Hillforts have been well documented by historians and archaeologists over many years but they have


not roused the same interest from Architects and little is written about their architecture.  


As ancient English constructions they survive as examples of how early man modified his


environment, man-made places in need of further investigation and discussions, to open


up new lines of inquiry about how and why early man defined places in the landscape and if they can


rightfully be called architecture.



It is fortunate that connected trench enclosures and stone enclosures in Northumberland are


extraordinarily well preserved, providing rare opportunities for explorations in a variety of situations.  


The study focuses on trench enclosures because landscape and the inspiration it provides is more


clearly explained where the ground is most serially moulded.  Comparisons are drawn with stone


enclosures to illustrate how properties of different landscapes impact on formations over different


periods of time.



From a practising Architect with a speciality in relationships between rural settlements and landscape


the study draws on first hand design experience and understanding of settlement and landscape


linkages to examine cause and effect, what stimulated and drove the concept of connected trench


enclosures, and theorises how creative processes unfolded into finished hillfort forms.